Victimizationalism is a prominent worldview in the western culture. To put it in street language victimizationalism essentially lays the blame for everything wrong on someone else. “I am a victim of abuse or I was victimized” claiming a passive role in any suffering in life. I wrote a blog on this subject once before, but it is becoming more popular, so I am inclined to write often about this damnable curse of the human race.
Victimizationalism has been popularized by the ungodly modern therapeutic movement. However, it is as old as the human race. It all began a long time ago when the first human being was instructed not to do something (the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, Genesis 2:17). Human beings will be human beings! They think they know more than God knows and they think they know what is best. Characterized by, “I know what the Word of God says, but….” so Adam ate from the forbidden tree. God asked Adam, “have you eaten from the tree?” Adam, the first alleged victim, blamed it on Eve (Genesis 3:12). Adam implies that it is God’s fault because God gave Adam the woman; Adam didn’t ask for her. The victim blames everyone else, but the Bible makes a clear declaration: “But each one is tempted when he drawn away by his own desires and enticed (James 1:14). A contemporary moral philosopher, Alasdair MacIntyre, characterizes the dominant influences in our culture as the Manager, Rich Aesthete, and the Therapist, in his book, After Virtue. He asserts that, “Philip Rieff has documented with devastating insight a number of the ways in which truth has been displaced as a value and replaced by psychological effectiveness.” MacIntyre further asserts, “The idioms of therapy have invaded all too successfully such spheres as those of education and of religion.” Lawyers love victimizationalism and the rest of society just doesn’t give a tinkers mound.
Individualism is a double first cousin world view to victimizationalism. Individualism embraces other worldviews such as secularism, humanism, pragmatism, and consumerism. Christians are certainly secular, human, pragmatic, and consumers. However, a Christian worldview places the importance on the sacred rather than the secular, the divine rather than the human, the truth rather than expedience, and the good life rather than the happy life. The Christian worldview places the emphasis on the sovereignty of God rather than the power of the individual.
Why have Christians rejected the sovereignty of God and favored the power of individual preferences? There are a number of factors. First, Christians have rejected orthodox Christian doctrine and theology. Secondly and related to the first, Christians have lost their passion for investigating truth. Thirdly and significantly, 21st century Christians are interpreting the Bible without considering the contextual, cultural, and historical factors. For example, the average person would say, “I have my individual rights as a citizen of these United (really un-united) States.” The idea is that in a democracy the people rule. Throughout most of the history of the Bible and the history of the church, many people have been under some form of monarchy. The individual had rights only if the sovereign monarch granted such rights.
The Christian worldview is the only worldview that grants individual rights (de facto). Christians are the only people who are really and eternally given individual rights and at the same time Christians are under the rule of a sovereign monarch, the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). A Christian is one who is adopted into the family of God and is an individual sibling among many siblings. It is the duty of all Christians to reject the philosophy of individualism and accept the sovereignty of God as the ruling principle in life.
More about world views available in my book, The Dominant Culture.